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Security Council Situation Report 9 November 2021

Situation Report on Matters Pertaining to International Peace and Security

This update complements the background guide published in the AMUN Handbook. The situation in Sudan is a new topic, which was not included in the Handbook. As such, a brief background to the conflict is provided before an update on the current situation. For a more comprehensive background on Sudan, you can also read the 2019 AMUN Handbook Security Council section on the situation in Sudan. 

The Situation in Sudan

In 2019, months of protests over a weak economy, in part due to international sanctions, led to a coup d’état and the arrest of President Omar Al Bashir. The thirty-year reign of Al Bashir was marred by conflict, civil war and accusations of crimes against humanity. 

The coup brought large-scale protests and political uncertainty to the country. But, within a few days of the coup, the military began negotiations with the various political factions to form a transition government and make plans for transferring power. On 4 August 2019, a plan and agreement for a transitional government, followed by elections no later than 2022, was formalized. The temporary head of state was the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Abdalla Hamdok was appointed Prime Minister and The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) was established to support the transitional government.

While protests did not completely end, the Juba Peace Agreement did bring together the transitional government, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), and the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minawi. The agreement granted signatories with seats on the Sovereignty Council. Some rebel groups felt overlooked and opposed the accords, but the government remained largely stable for nearly a year. This September, however, disagreements and criticisms between the major factions blossomed into renewed protests and civil unrest. 

In September members of the Beja tribe blockaded Sudan’s main port, Port Sudan. By October the blockade led to shortages of food and fuel. Some members of the government accused the military of supporting the protests, though the military denied this. Civil unrest intensified, with both pro-military and anti-military groups protesting the state of the transitional government. On 25 October, General al-Buhan kidnapped and placed Prime Minister Hamdok under house arrest. The Sovereignty Council was disbanded and hundreds of civilians were jailed. International outrage led the military to attempt to partially walk back the coup, but Hamdok has rebuffed these attempts. In early November, General al-Buhan placed increased restrictions on Hamdok’s house arrest. Al-Buhan has said in statements that the military took over to prevent civil war and that military leaders remain faithful to the overall goal of returning Sudan to civilian control. Progress towards this goal has all but stalled, however, despite pressure from the United Nations and other world powers. 

An additional upcoming challenge for Sudan is the end of the hybrid United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) no later than 30 June 2022. Drawdown efforts are ongoing and primary responsibility for the security of the remaining staff rests on the Sudanese Government, no matter which government it is.

For further historical background information, please refer to the 2019 AMUN Handbook.


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